Connor Knapp went 1-6 in limited AHL action last season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie prospects will battle for action with Amerks next season

BUFFALO – In his first professional season, Connor Knapp sat on the bench in the AHL and watched … and watched … and watched as David Leggio handled the bulk of the Rochester Americans’ goaltending duties.

Knapp made the first of his seven starts Nov. 3, the season’s 10th game. The rookie played again 13 days later, then sat another three weeks. After Knapp’s Dec. 22 appearance, Leggio started the next 15 games.

Finally, ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier talks about the Sabres' offseason news Friday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres could still have Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek in fold when training camp opens

BUFFALO – With each passing day, general manager Darcy Regier acknowledged, it becomes more likely starting goalie Ryan Miller and slick winger Thomas Vanek will still be with the Sabres when training camp starts in September.

Regier has said both stars, whose contracts expire after next season, could be dealt from the rebuilding Sabres. He said he’s had some “discussions regarding both those players” with other teams.

“The nature of this business as you move ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier speaks this afternoon. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Darcy Regier: Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek could still be with Sabres come training camp

BUFFALO – With each passing day, general manager Darcy Regier acknowledged, it becomes more likely starting goalie Ryan Miller and slick winger Thomas Vanek will be on the Sabres when training camp convenes in September.

Regier has said both stars, whose contracts expire after next season, could be dealt from the rebuilding Sabres. He said he’s had some “discussions regarding both those players” with other teams.

“The nature of this business, as you move through ... Read the full article

A knee injury ended Brayden McNabb's season March 23. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Brayden McNabb ready to grab spot on crowded blue line

BUFFALO – The most experienced defense prospect participating in the Sabres’ summer development camp might also have the most to prove.

As a rookie in 2011-12, Brayden McNabb impressed from the get-go, earning his first NHL promotion in late November and playing 25 total games with the Sabres.

Less than two years later, the 22-year-old has almost become an afterthought.

When the NHL season started in January, McNabb, who struggled a bit with Rochester last ... Read the full article

Mikhail Grigorenko played 25 NHL games last season. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

With roster place secure, Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko concentrating on next season

BUFFALO – Mikhail Grigorenko is staying put. No more shuttling between the NHL and junior. The Sabres have already given the slick Russian center a roster spot for next season, general manager Darcy Regier said last week.

What does that mean to the 19-year-old?

“I didn’t think about it at all,” Grigorenko said Wednesday inside the First Niagara Center following the first session of the team’s summer development camp. “I don’t think it changes ... Read the full article

The Sabres recently passed on signing Alex Lepkowski. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Amerks sign Mike Zigomanis, Alex Lepkowski and Frederick Roy

BUFFALO – Twelve years after a botched fax notoriously sent Mike Zigomanis back into the draft, the Sabres organization reacquired the center, signing him to an AHL contract today.

The Rochester Americans also inked defenseman Alex Lepkowski, a West Seneca native the Sabres drafted but never signed, and winger Frederick Roy.

The Sabres originally drafted Zigomanis 64th overall in 1999. But his contract paperwork allegedly didn’t go through properly, so the Sabres ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen skates this morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Rasmus Ristolainen takes first steps toward making Sabres

BUFFALO – Even among a group of teenage prospects, Rasmus Ristolainen was one of the youngest players on the ice this morning for the first session of the Sabres’ summer development camp.

Of course, having spent the last two seasons in the SM-liiga, a Finnish men’s league, the 18-year-old’s used to facing older competition.

“That’s not a new thing for me,” Ristolainen, the No. 8 pick at last month’s NHL Entry Draft, said this afternoon. ... Read the full article

David Leggio has developed into one of the AHL's best goalies. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

David Leggio signs with Capitals, grateful for three strong seasons with Sabres organization

BUFFALO – David Leggio has no hard feelings toward the Sabres.

Three summers ago, the goalie figured his championship season in Finland would generate interest back in North America. But offers never materialized. Finally, as the summer dragged on, the Sabres gave Leggio a chance when no one else would, signing him to play behind Jhonas Enroth with the Portland Pirates.

At that point, the 28-year-old Williamsville native had played three AHL games.

“They believed ... Read the full article

Henrik Tallinder left the Sabres in 2010. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres bring back Henrik Tallinder from Devils

BUFFALO – Three years ago, Henrik Tallinder sensed his Sabres career was ending. Despite a strong season helping then-rookie Tyler Myers develop into of the NHL’s top defensemen, the Swede knew the team had little interest in awarding him a long-term contract.

So when free agency opened, Tallinder signed a four-year, $13.5 million deal with the New Jersey Devils.

Had the Sabres offered even three years to Tallinder, he said he might’ve considered staying with ... Read the full article

Alexander Sulzer (52) never played regularly before joining the Sabres. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres re-sign Alexander Sulzer, lose Adam Pardy

BUFFALO – When free agency opened Friday, Alexander Sulzer shopped around, drawing interest from a “number of teams,” his agent said.

Ultimately, though, the defenseman couldn’t leave the Sabres, who helped him become an NHL regular for the first time.

The 29-year-old German signed a one-year, $725,000 contract today.

“He really enjoyed playing there,” Scott Greenspun, Sulzer’s agent, told the Times Herald. “Buffalo was a place that gave him an opportunity to prove he was ... Read the full article